Activists have asked the community to always protect girls to be strong and inspire them to achieve their dreams for a better future.
The remarks were made during the National Women’s Leaders Roundtable on “Our Collective Effort to Empower the Girl Child in Uganda”
The discussion was aired live on NBS TV on Tuesday.
The UN resident coordinator in Uganda, Rosa Malango, said Covid-19 pandemic has widened already existing inequalities in society with the most vulnerable being girls.
Prior to the pandemic, Malango said girls in Uganda were already facing some difficulties.
“According to Uganda demographic and health survey, one out of four adolescent girls were already mothers with the first child.The teenage pregnancy was at 35%. 25% of girls experienced sexual violence ,60% of girls had experienced physical violence and 20% of deaths in Uganda are contributed to maternal deaths,”said Malango.
Malango said when people come together at the community level, they can nurture and protect the girl child and inspire her to achieve her dreams.
The Kampala Capital City Authority(KCCA) executive director, Dorothy Kisaka said the voice of the girl child should not be silenced.
“Humanity should advocate for the girl child. The voice of the girl child should be amplified by all humanity. The empowerment of the girl child should be on the agenda of nation-building,”she said.
Activists said girls must continue with their education even after giving birth.
The minister of state for Youth, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, said the Ugandans need to do a lot to ensure that when the girls call for help, they are helped and by the right people.
Nakiwala said the women in power are many but there are still child marriages and early pregnancies challenging all women in leadership to help girls.
“If girls know that their body belongs to them they will be in control. We can put all the laws in place but the girl is talking to her rapist on the phone,”she said.